It’s been a long, drawn out, painful demise for the LGBTQ+ bar and night club THE COMEBACK, but after weeks of speculation and rumor, the ownership team of the SoDo located venue at 1950 1st Ave South announced Sunday, April 30th that it would shut down at end of business day that evening.
The Comeback was a successor to the popular Capitol Hill based gay bar, RPlace which was forced to shut down during the Covid-19 epidemic when its landlords refused to renew the bar’s lease. Floyd Lovelady, the longtime manager of RPlace then announced plans to open a new version of RPlace but renamed on First Avenue in Seattle’s SoDo District. With other partners, the new bar opened in January of 2022 to great fanfare and high expectations from fans of RPlace.
The bar seemed to have a relatively steady customer base on the weekends but little to no traffic the rest of the week. Some cited the bar’s inaccessability from traditional neighborhoods with large numbers of LGBTQ+ residents; SoDo is mostly an industrial and commercial neighborhood and the home of Seattle’s two major sports stadiums. Nightlife does exist in that area but is largely clustered around the stadiums or consists of more night club/disco oriented destination spots like Supernova, the LGBTQ+ friendly night club and The Monkey Loft, a popular EDM venue that is also gay positive. Both venues are primarily only open on the weekend.
Rumors began circulating late in 2022 that the venue was having some financial woes but the drama ramped up at the start of 2023 when C. Scott Smith, the former co-owner of the Capitol Hill disco, Q, began vague posting about a struggling venue he had been trying to partner with and implying that the unnamed venue was failing due to bad management practices. After The Comeback’s majority owner Floyd Lovelady posted on social media that he was relocating to San Diego, the rumor mill went into overtime and eventually the word was, the venue would soon shut its doors. After Smith admitted that his earlier vague posts had been referring to The Comeback, the countdown began but The Comeback continued to insist it would remain open. (Check out our coverage of that story here: https://seattlegayscene.com/2023/03/so-what-the-hell-is-happening-at-the-comeback/ )
That drama was all just a month ago but time apparently ran out for The Comeback with Sunday’s announcment verifying it was officially over.
Added: we’ve received a report from someone who stopped by on Sunday night that a small crowd (maximum at one time of 40 or so) came to say goodbye to the bar, which had already begun removing fixtures like tables and chairs from the venue with all transactions being “cash only”.
No further word from ownership has appeared. As to the fate of that space…well, it’s now up for grabs for anyone who thinks they can turn it into a viable night life property.
And, a final toast to The Comeback. It’s always a bit sad when LGBTQ owned businesses don’t succeed.
SODO is not the best place for a bar. It’s very industrial, out of the way from other gay bars and with a large number of encampments it’s sketchy in some parts of SODO.